Lately I have had (as have all of us) reason to wonder if there’s a solution to the problem of Hispanics illegally working and immigrating here. And after reading about and studying the matter, I’ve concluded that there simply isn’t.
Here’s the way I’m understanding the matter. As ever, I welcome further enlightenment.
We Americans like Hispanics working for as little money as they’re constrained to. We like anyone providing us our goods and services for as cheaply as possible.
What makes our problem with Hispanic workers so profoundly unique is that we can’t outsource the work they do for us, in the way we outsource pretty much every other good and service that we possibly can. Because the work for us that Hispanics do, they do here. They work in restaurants and businesses galore here. They pick the produce that grows here, on this land.
There’s just no way to get a poor little kid in [insert woefully underdeveloped foreign country here] to, say, pick our lettuce. All the work that Hispanics do for us must be done locally.
Making our Hispanic workers legal would mean being constrained by law to pay them minimum wage; and their employers will, of course, also have to then incur the great many costs that come with hiring American citizens: unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, paid leave benefits, and so on.
If we do the right thing by the Hispanics who live, work, and immigrate here, then life for all Americans will become so frightfully expensive it will plunge untold (more) numbers of us into poverty. None but the wealthiest among us are capable of absorbing the costs that would result from doing the (let’s face it) morally correct thing with regards to illegal Hispanic workers. It would break most everybody else.
We either completely radicalize our entire values system, or the rich start willingly surrendering humongous chunks of their money.
And we know neither one of those things will happen.
And so hundreds of thousands if not millions of Hispanics immigrants will continue to be systematically exploited. And unless I’m missing something, that problem’s very quickly going nowhere at all.
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